Beyonce Photoshopped Into Starvation for Latest Ad Campaign


Mystery solved: Beyonce is so riled up about restricting photographer access because she’s hell-bent on projecting an image somewhere between “Photoshopped” and “impossible.”

That’s the impression from the the pop star’s latest ad campaign, in which she sports body proportions that make her look like she stepped straight from a U.N. refugee camp into a Paris couture salon.


The ad, to promote the diva’s “The Mrs. Carter Show” world tour, shows her in a Roberto Cavalli gown that bares legs with the approximate proportions of super-size chopsticks, in contrast to less staged shots that indicate she actually has thighs:


This unflattering photo by Ezra Shaw of Getty may have gone viral earlier this year, but at least Beyonce has thighs.

The image, which appears to a photo of Beyonce’s face and/or torso layered onto a photo-realistic drawing, prompted pockets of outrage on Cavalli’s Facebook page, with critics saying the image promotes impossible body proportions:


“Ur Photoshop dude might want to look up the word realistic in the dictionary,” wrote Lisa Gorman. “Bey is one of the most beautiful women in this world: don’t ruin her image like this.”

Cavalli responded with a follow-up post saying the image “is a sketch and not a photo, and therefore it is only meant to be a stylized and artistic vision.” Exactly what that vision is remains unclear, but “stilts with skin” comes to mind.

Beyonce clarified her relationship with visual reality earlier this year by demanding that Web sites remove unflattering photos of her Super Bowl performance and later banning professional photographers from concerts.

(via The Sun and Fstoppers)

Image credits: Photographs by Robereto Cavalli, Carol Carlow, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images, Music Photographers

  • harumph

    Why does the title of the article say “Photoshopped” when the body of the article makes it clear that we are looking at an illustration?

  • Mike

    Looks like a lost Dali painting.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks. We’ve edited the post to make the nature of the image more clear. It’s a mix between a photo and an illustration.

  • Larry

    Because being an “illustration” doesn’t mean it wasn’t photoshopped

  • ziplock9000

    The point being that this is no longer eligible to be an article.

  • ziplock9000

    But you know fine well it means photoshopped photographs

  • Larry

    A photograph can be an “illustration” if it’s over photoshopped. Quite often magazine covers, if they are heavily photoshopped are credited inside with “illustration by..”

  • Name


  • David Becker

    You know what they say — You can never be too rich, too thin or too extruded.

  • Manwithacamera

    It doesnt look like sketch!

  • AdminHarald

    Nothing new here except how lousy Beyoncé looks. Like a bad doll or action figure. I used to be an Entertainment Art Director in Hollywood, working with celebs like this all the time. And with airbrushers using real airbrushes! :) Beyoncé and her manager had to approve this. What were they thinking? (BTW: I’m not an Admin on this site:)

  • harumph

    This clearly isn’t a photo. A photo of her face may have been used as reference, but this is an illustration. It has nothing to do with photography. Look at Cavalli’s other fashion sketches. This is what he does. The body type is his style. I’m not saying it’s a positive image that he’s sending out, but it is what it is. And it’s not a photograph.

  • Rnld

    C’mon, this is going to far. This is obviously not acidentally photoshopped too skinny, its meant as an illustration. Everyone can see that this is not meant to look realistic, its probably inspired by designer sketches.
    I mean sure, she has thin legs, but its an appealing image and no teenage girl will ever think this is supposed to look realistic..

  • Dave

    What do you have against Dali?

  • Dave

    An illustration can be a photograph. A photo can be used to illustrate a book, magazine, ad campaign, cereal box, whatever.

  • 9inchnail

    I am offended. Just as offended as I am by the Simpsons. They portray an image of beauty that most of us can never achieve. Not everyone can have 4 fingers and yellow skin. This must stop!!!

  • MMielech


  • Furunomoe

    Maybe they draw the illustration with Photoshop?

  • Nik.C

    Why are people defending this Cavelli campaign? There’s no way this is a “sketch” if you are using Beyonce’s image and name, then you have a duty not to try making her look like she hasn’t eaten in weeks, how many young girls will see this and think they have to make themselves incredibly thin, because its the image Beyonce is pushing thru this ad. I have young nieces who are already thin enough without a worldwide star adding more pressure on young impressionable minds.
    She should be ashamed of herself for okaying this distortion of reality for monetary gain, she’s already been made to look too white, now it’s too thin. Real women have curves, shame on you Beyonce, I don’t for one minute think this has been done without your knowledge.

  • Desslok

    Man, that is one ugly broad. . . .

  • harumph

    Now we’re parsing the word “illustration”? In this context, the word illustration clearly means drawing. It’s not a photo. Why is this even an argument?

  • levitor

    This is disgusting.

  • Maximilian

    I like it. It’s not promoting anything unhealthy. Some people are naturally skinny and shouldn’t be made to feel out of place just like people who are overweight are claiming acceptance. Just because most people hate being fat, are we all meant to scorn those who are “under weight”. The older I get the more I see the human race as a big pool of discrimination and narrow minded morals.

    On a technical note, this artwork is just that – an artwork – a stylized creation that subjects the human figure. Kind of looks a bit animé to me, and made to look like a famous singer/actress/dancer by the name of Beyoncé. When u take into account her accomplishments and social standings, it is clear that any ill-following by the public is their own reaponsibility. Her high profile makes the physics a non reality, and less attainable for the majority or mediocre masses of human society. If the subject was Jo Nobudy then this might be a little more attainable for all the millions of following drones around the world, but it’s not… It’s BEYONCÉ!! She’s fantastic and no amount of jealousy, scorn, hatred and descrimination is ever going to make the world a better place. Wake up monkeys!

  • Rad

    I’m very disappointed to see such an article here. It is clearly a fashion design illustration. It’s not a “campaign” in any way ! This is gossip and has no place here.

  • Connor

    This is how fashion illustration is done, take a look at any sketch by any designer in the history of ever.

  • Alexis Wallace

    I think the more pressing issue is how ugly the promo is. She looks like a bronzed alien. Or a cheap Oscar verdict is still out on which one.

  • colours

    You’re friend is on to something about the Cavalli sketch. A quick google search of “Cavalli illustration” will show tons of similar sketches that have been used in previous ad campaigns. I grew up with these types of ads in fashion magazines while growing up. This is clearly the brand’s stylistic choice to represent the label.

    To the folks at PetaPixel – I feel the title of this post is misleading and the commentary is rather presumptuous. Would Dora Maar be accused of trying to portray an unrealistic representation of herself by posing for a Picasso painting? Absolutely not. It is a stylistic interpretation and, as many commenters have noted, an illustration. Beyonce should be thrilled to collaborate with another world class artist. The lack of context to the history of the Cavalli label and the author’s choice to appeal to his readership in a such a snarky tone makes me question the validity of my time spent on this site.

    I just have to add the incoming link to this page was about advice from a model to make great photographs. Several of the tips were how to appear thinner for the camera. In one article I’m being told to appear thinner; in the next article a person who works in the industry is bashing on another for appearing too skinny. Where is the win in this situation? I feel this subject matter could have been addressed in a more respectful tone about the industry and maybe even touch on the pressures of both models AND photographers to portray unrealistic images of female forms.